Tbilisi, Georgia, April 3
By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:
Residents of Georgia's Armenian-populated Samtskhe-Javakheti region (South Georgia) are standing in a queue in front of Russia's Consulate in Tbilisi to get Russian passports.
Russia's Consulate in Tbilisi operates under the auspices of the Switzerland embassy due to the lack of diplomatic relations with Georgia.
The residents of the Armenian-populated region who are standing in a queue avoid contact with media outlets, according to the Trend correspondent. The region's residents learned from their relatives about the facilitated issuance of Russian passports and visas and arrived in Tbilisi, according to the informed sources.
Prior to the military conflict of 2008, Russia also started the facilitated procedure of issuing passports, according to Georgian experts.
Large scale military action was launched in South Ossetia on August 8, 2008. Later, Russian troops occupied Tskhinvali and expelled the Georgian military.
Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in late August. In response, Tbilisi ended diplomatic relations with Moscow and has called the two unrecognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia occupied territories.
Translated by L.Z.
Edited by C.N.